Really awesome sushi restaurant we went during our trip in Tokyo. After reading the positive reviews we decided to give it a try and it is totally worth is. I'd recommend the grilled salmon sushi out of the menu.
Daiwa Sushi (actually pronounced "ZUSHI") is run by the son of a popular fisherman. Actually, the fisherman father runs a shop called "Sushidai" just a couple of shops to the right. Apparently, the sushi duo fish together and compete to see who can catch and make the best sushi in Tsukiji. Quite a nice back-story, if I've ever heard one.
To be honest, the only sushi-ya that can be considered close to the same "bang-for-buck" value as Daiwa Sushi (son) is Sushidai (father). But I think on this occasion, I prefer the son's nigiri zushi.
Both shops offer similar Omakase sets (Chef's Recommendations) for about 3600 Yen, which is REEDICKULUOSLY low for the quality you get. It's not only the freshness - it's the way he prepares the fish. The vinegar that Daiwa uses is unlike any I've tasted before. Also, if you have an "Eagle Eye", you can see that they have so many different techniques for storing and preparing each type of fish/roe/shellfish.
Be prepared for a unique experience because they don't prepare the set in the same way other sushi-ya do. Usually, you order a set from a menu, and they bring out all your sushi on a wooden plank. However, in order to ensure the freshest fish possible - from it being cut, to the time it enters your mouth - Daiwa only prepares your set, two pieces at a time. Awesome!
I was thoroughly impressed and utterly satisfied with the sight, smell, and taste of my sushi. Nothing else compares in Tokyo...but...
Now comes the bad part. If you arrive any time after 6:00am, there is usually a line about 45+ minutes long. It's super popular, not only among Tokyoites, but also every country that Lonely Planet markets themselves to. Be prepared for a line with people speaking Chinese, Korean, English, Japanese, Swahili?!, French, German, Spanish, Russian, and some people who are dressed up like master chefs from international schools. And considering how most people go to the Tsukiji fish market first, before they have the awesome Daiwa Zushi breakfast, you could be waiting almost 2 hours!!!! So, GO EARLY is the main bullet to take away from this presentation.
It opens at 5am and since the trains don't start up until after that, chances are you won't arrive until after 5:30am, depending on your location in Tokyo.
However, I would still recommend going to the Tsukiji fish market first, as it deepens the need for sushi and creates the perfect mood for a "stripped-out, hardcore, and unplugged" version of delicious, mouth-watering sushi.
A quivering shrimp on my breakfast table is an unusual sight, but one that Daiwa sushidelivered. At 8.00 am, on a cold winter Tokyo morning, I found myself lining up for close to 45 minutes outside this tiny Tsukiji institution to try their famous sushi.
A visit to Tsukiji, the world’s biggest fish market, would be incomplete without a sushi breakfast. Raw fish in the morning doesn’t top many lists of ideal breakfast food, but you would be crazy to leave without it.
Daiwa sushi is a tiny shop that sits about eight customers at a time (they have two locations side by side, and the room is packed so tight that the waitress will come from behind and push your seat in if you’re taking too much hallway room. The same waitress also has a powerful set of lungs to keep the line in order barking instructions every so often.
You can order a la carte, but a better idea is to get the set omakase course (3,500 yen) which comes with seven pieces, miso soup and a roll.
Things started on the right foot when the chef delivered the most succulent piece of toro I’ve ever had, balanced with a healthy dose of fresh wasabi. After such a start, how could he top this, I thought. With a quivering shrimp! He must have dismembered my unfortunate breakfast out of sight, but the shrimp tail was pulsating on top of the rice at about 10 second intervals for over a minute until I decided to pop it in my mouth (it’s quite chewy as compared to cooked shrimp). A few minutes later I received the grilled head with instructions to eat it in one bite.
Other morsels included a piece overflowing with sea urchin, anago (sea water eel), buri (adult yellowtail), an omelet and rolls made with tuna and ikura (salmon eggs).
You cannot linger around at Daiwa; the line is long, the chefs will stare, and in any case, this is not a place where you want to sit around if there’s no sushi coming your way. To find it, locate the complex number six on the side of the market and look for the line. I suppose you could get up later and come just for the sushi, but touring your soon-to-be breakfast at the market is part of the fun!